TruTV Analysis - November 2009

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NOVEMBER 2009 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE:

Trutv Primetime Schedule

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Original series dominate TruTV's primetime schedule.  The only acquired program is COPS. Since most of their series provide a different take in the area of criminal law and justice, there are no thematic evenings distinct from one another, rather a relatively even distribution of original series.  A heavy reliance on OPERATION REPO, comedic video clip properties, and a handful of other series dominate the schedule.

As new series are introduced to the schedule, the network created a few generic slots across the week for repeats.  The additional exhibitions in short bursts of 2-4 weeks give their new titles a chance to gain recognition with the casual viewer.  When a series does break out, like MOST SHOCKING, they have moved it into a regular timeslot.

With the transition of the network to TruTv at the beginning of 2008, the crime and investigation focus was replaced with a broader, non-fiction/reality mix of programs.  While a small base of crime series continues, new programming explores topics as diverse as oil wildcatters, poolside waitresses in Las Vegas, and repo men.

NOVEMBER 2009 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / November 2009 vs. November 2008  (% Change)

HH

M18-49

M25-54

Monday 8-11pm

23%

6%

6%

Tuesday 8-11pm

12%

27%

22%

Wednesday 8-11pm

0%

17%

7%

Thursday 8-11pm

8%

2%

-4%

Friday 8-11pm

-5%

0%

-6%

Saturday 8-11pm

-11%

63%

31%

Sunday 8-11pm

12%

13%

2%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

6%

16%

7%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

Trutv continues its rise with yet another month of growth.  Audiences are up across all key demos, but strongest in younger men.  The median age is dropping too.  OPERATION REPO returns to the schedule thiis month with a vengence and it was the number one show of the month.

COPS was a close second to OPERATION REPO and an acquisition which clearly fits in well with the network's brand.

BAIT CAR and ALL WORKED UP were steady lead-ins to OPERATION REPO on Monday nights, making the night the number one rated night across the board.  The night was up a whopping 30% from a year ago - this kind of prgoramming is clearly hitting on the network's "sweet spot."

But other nights aren't far behind it.  PARTY AT THE HARD ROCK kicked off the month on Tuesday, but FULL THROTTLE SALOON took its spot shortly after.  Ratings for FULL THROTTLE were above average and program scored particular well among younger male demos.

Wedneday nights were down from a month ago and the night was the weakest of the week for truTV.  MOST DARING and MOST SHOCKING scored well among men, but overall numbers were down.

IT ONLY HURTS WHEN I LAUGH scored some above-average numbers on Thursday nights.  And longtime staple FORENSIC FILES still remains a strong addition to the truTV brand.

ORIGINAL:

Personality-driven investigative, psychic/paranormal applications to law enforcement, action-oriented reality.

ACQUIRED:

Limited primarily to off network series such as COPS.

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

Strategic Opportunities:

Beginning January 1, 2008, the network became truTV, focusing on first-person access to real-life stories.  The new tagline was announced in late October:  Not Reality.  Actuality.  According to the network's press release, the phrase is meant to describe the truTV as the home of true real-life programming, not the manufactured reality found elsewhere on the dial.

Important:

The network is increasingly skewing male as the transition from Court TV to Tru TV continues.  Men are making up almost 55% of the 18-49 and 25-54 audiences through the first half of the year.  If you're pitching new concepts, targeting that younger male audience is advisable.

As fresh concepts like BLACK GOLD and SMOKING GUN take to the air, mainstay series like FORENSIC FILES and others are being relegated to supporting roles.  The household numbers aren't enough to keep them front and center anymore, as the network moves towards a demographic play.

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